The people of Ndokwa nation in Delta state, South-South Nigeria, have called on President Muhammadu Buhari, never to toy or take with levity the need to place Ndokwa sons and daughters on top of the list of the beneficiaries of the federal government’s planned lease of oil and gas resources, warning that Ndokwa land was not a conquered territory of any nation and therefore must be given its priority attention in national issues.
This was subject of a well attended world press conference held in Kwale, headquarters of Ndokwa West local government area, one of the tripod of the three local governments in Ndokwa nation over the weekend under the aegis of ‘Ani Osa Ndokwa’ Clan President-Generals and Coalition of Ndokwa Associate Groups.
In a communique emanating from the meeting, the representatives of Ndokwa nation placed demands on the President Buhari-led FG noting that until the conditions are fulfilled the erstwhile peaceful people of Ndokwa land will be forced to take their destinies in their own hands decrying alleged gross marginalisation and disrespect to the people of Ndokwa nation by successive governments in the Nigeria federation.
According to the group, President Buhari must consider immediate appointment of Ndokwa person on the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC and fair share of the marginal oil fields amongst many other demands.
Also, the coalition noted that Ndokwa land is host to the largest Non-Associated Gas (NAG) reserve in the West African sub-region, according to extant seismic, geological and drilling data. There are enormous natural gas resources of more than 10trillion cubic feet that can support two or more major LNG projects.
Going down memory lane, the group stressed that Ndokwa nation was a division at par with other divisions in the old Midwest Region. Today, the old Asaba division now has 6 LGAs while the old Aboh Division (Ndokwa nation) has 3 LGAs, stressing that electoral equity and fair play demand that Ndokwa should have more LGAs and constituencies.
The spate of insecurity by marauding criminals and herdsmen in their farmlands is preparing them to engage in organized self-help by taking their national destiny in their own hands.
Not accommodating Ndokwa nation in the economic gains from the FG’s Oil and Gas projects, will make what thw government seek from their land be inaccessible, the Coalition warned of dare consequences of further neglecting the peaceful people of Ndoka land.
“The government that undermines our people by preferring to take provocative and anti-peaceful actions should not forbid us to respond to their provocations.
“That ongoing anti-corruption probe of NDDC should bring justice to the people of the Niger Delta. It should not be swept under the carpet as a mere political exercise. NDDC should no more be a sink hole for awards of over inflated contracts or none existing projects.
“We have remained peaceful without any history of sabotage, vandalizing pipelines or blowing up of Oil production facilities, against the continuing neglect and marginalization of our people.” The communique reads.
Its further averred that the destruction of the eco-system occasioning severe environmental consequences has forced most Ndokwa people to seek alternative but hazardous livelihood, the coalition stated.
Also disheartening, the group lamented, was the fact that Aboh which has the most advantaged location for an inland Port facility was deprived of this facility which was politically swapped for an inland Jetty. The list of inequities is unending. We call on government to reverse this immediately.
Pointedly, the coalition noted that, to avoid youth restiveness in Ndokwa land there was urgent need for government intervention in the provision of infrastructure, capital and human resources development; set up alternative rewarding programmes for the youths and women, in educational scholarships and loan incentives for small & medium scale businesses, artisanal refineries, compensations for Gas flares, industrial give-backs projects for the exploitation of our Oil & Gas.
The coalition invited the FG to note the summary of the details and 7-point demands as follows: appoint an Ndokwa person into the Management board of NDDC as either Board Chairman, Managing Director. Construct coastal road from ASABA through OKO-ABALA-UTCHI-OKPAI-ABOH-ABALAGADA ending at PATANI.
“Our people should not be provoked to halt the Gas supply for the NIGERIA -MOROCCO GAS PIPELINE PROJECT amongst other pipeline networks That a Federal Tertiary Institution be sited in Ndokwa land and urge an accelerated passage of the bill and expedited presidential assent. All defaulting Oil & Gas Companies should immediately pay compensations and penalties for Gas flares, non-renewal of MoUs and failure to pay Ground rents to their host communities. Government.
“ESTABLISH A STANDARD TEMPLATE of MoUs with the Host communities. Update the measuring scale for determining the ACCURATE QUANTUM of the Oil and Gas production from Ndokwa. Accelerate the completion of the Okpai – Kwale TCN Line and Substations. REPAIR DISTRIBUTION NETWORK. We demand a paltry margin of 20% as minimum GOODWILL SHARES of each MARGINAL OILFIELD. We urge those provoking Ndokwa people to desist from opening another theatre of conflict.” The statement reads in part.
The signatories to communique include the group PG of Ndokwa Clans with his 1st Vice PG and General Secretary.
Other signatories are the principal representatives of Ndokwa Clan Unions and leaders representing Ndokwa Youth Congress, Ndokwa Nation Developmental Forum. Ndokwa Renaissance Network, and Ukwuani Bu Ani Eze.